Order Focus: Toshiba to buy 32MW of SunPower PV panels for Japanese residential market

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SunPower has signed a strategic supply agreement with Toshiba, in which the Japanese company will order 32MW of high-efficiency monocrystalline-silicon solar panels from the PV firm this year. The SunPower modules will form the cornerstone of Toshiba’s new residential solar offering in Japan, to be launched April 1.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with Toshiba, a preeminent business leader in Japan and throughout the world,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “SunPower panels are particularly well suited to Japan’s residential market, where the new Japanese feed-in-tariff rewards production of solar energy in excess of domestic consumption, but available roof area is typically quite small. SunPower high-efficiency systems will allow more customers to take advantage of this incentive.”

“Toshiba’s residential solar power business will offer homeowners the most efficient solar power systems available, with a focus on quality and reliability,” said Shoji Takenaka, chief technology executive of Toshiba’s transmission distribution and industrial systems company. “We are very pleased to work with SunPower, as their solar photovoltaic panels achieve high levels of performance and reliability, and their excellent efficiency supports space-saving solutions that directly meet the needs of consumers in Japan.”

SunPower says it nearly doubled production of its high-efficiency solar cells and panels from 2008 to 2009, with 2009 cell production of approximately 400MW. In 2010, the company intends to expand production further with new manufacturing operations in Malaysia, the United States, and Europe, although details of those facilities have yet to be announced.

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